Adhesive for pick guard

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Adhesive for pick guard

Postby Freeman Keller » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:44 pm

I'm working on an old Yamaha that has a big thick engraved pick guard (thing Gibson Hummingbird) that is coming off. It looks like it was attached to the top which was finished (doesn't react to lacquer thinner, must be some sort of catalyzed something). There is damage down to the wood in a number of places, mostly right along the edges of the p/b. I'm guessing someone tried to repair it at some point with unknown glue.

Got the p/g off and cleaned the old glue off of its (mostly scraping, naphtha didn't touch it). Cleaned up the top and brushed a couple of coats of shellac on the bare wood. Warmed the p/g and clamped it flat overnight. Put double sticky tape on it and attempted to reattach it. Came loose from the top after a couple of days.

Dilemma now is what glue to use. I know contact cement is sometimes used for p/g's but with the irregular and damaged wood I'm wondering if this might be a case for (whisper) epoxy. I can get good clamping action all around the p/g but I know I only get one chance. Thoughts?

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Re: Adhesive for pick guard

Postby Bob Gramann » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:22 pm

It bothers me that the double sticky tape didn’t hold it. Was that because the surfaces were uneven, leaving gaps to weaken the bond? Or, was there residue of something on one or both of the surfaces? Epoxy is awfully hard to clean up if you ever have to work on it again. Will plain old Elmers hold it? In the future, it won’t take much heat to release and vinegar and water will clean it up.
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Re: Adhesive for pick guard

Postby David King » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:31 pm

What double sided tape did you use? Was it one of the 3M high tack assembly tapes?
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Re: Adhesive for pick guard

Postby Freeman Keller » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:24 pm

My tape was some generic carpet tape - it seems to be pretty tenacious - I used it on another pick guard but that one was nice clean finish on the guitar and a clean new p/g. The top of this guitar is pretty beat up, down to and into wood in a number of places, most of which are right at the edge of the p/g. I am now trying to drop fill them with some superglue and I'll try to scrape that back level. The fact that the p/g is quite thick and is somewhat warped doesn't help - I did heat it with a hot air gun and clamp flat but it still has some wave. I think I'll go ahead and order the StewMac 3M tape and give that a try.
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Re: Adhesive for pick guard

Postby Mario Proulx » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:16 am

Nothing. Absolutely nothing, will hold that fella down. Many have tried, many have died.

Once these insanely thick old Yammy 'guards begin to twist and shout, there's no stopping them.

Make a new one...
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Re: Adhesive for pick guard

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:19 pm

I have used binding cement (Stewmac brand) to adhere plastic to wood with good results. Nothing that was warped as you describe, though.
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Re: Adhesive for pick guard

Postby Freeman Keller » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:16 pm

I flatened the pickguard as best I could, built up the damaged areas with CA and leveled back to the finishing and reinstalled the p/g with the 3M sticky tape. I also told the owner that it might not last and we would have to consider a plan B.

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Re: Adhesive for pick guard

Postby Bob Francis » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:37 pm

It looks great! I see why it wasn't a simple substitution.
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